7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #58: Featuring Julie Paschkis

h1 April 13th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: If you’re a regular reader of 7-Imp, you have seen illustrator Julie Paschkis’ name pop up a lot lately. And that would be because, with every new title she illustrates, I become more of a fan. Her colorful, patterned, and striking folk art gouache paintings are a feast for the eyes. I thought TadMack put it well at a recent post about Imaginary Menagerie, which Paschkis illustrated, when she said that seeing such lush gouache paintings “makes me want to roll around in paint.”

eisha: Well said, Jules and TadMack. I’m a big fan too – I particularly enjoyed her work in Twist: Yoga Poems by Janet Wong, which features colorfully-clad children in yoga poses surrounded by intricate Indian-inspired paisleys and floral patterns. And I was lucky enough to see her accept the Boston Globe Hornbook Honor in 2006 for Yellow Elephant: a Bright Bestiary, another collaboration with poet Julie Larios. That was a stunning book, too – I said at the time the illustrations reminded me of a cross between Russian miniature painting and Pueblo art, which worked perfectly with the fanciful poems. You’re so right, Jules. I think she just gets better and better with every book.

Jules: Lucky for us all, Julie stopped by today to share some of her art work with us. Pictured above is a new painting of hers, and Julie told us: “I was playing with words. This is a new painting that is going to be used as a poster by the King County Library for a program of that name (Playing with Words).” If you are also a fan of Paschkis’ work, then you might be happy to know that I’ve lined her up for one of our new illustrator interviews (the first seven-questions-over-breakfast interview being with Jeremy Tankard a couple weeks ago).

Here are the other gifts Julie is sharing with us today:

Sea Serpent from Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures by Julie Larios (Harcourt; April 2008). I reviewed this title here at 7-Imp a few weeks ago, and Julie shared more images from the book with us there. So, if you like this, head on over to that post for more Paschkis-goodness.

“I shared a room with my sister growing up,” Julie told us. “She told me once that, after I went to sleep, a magic horse came and rode away with her. I longed for the horse to take me, too, but I couldn’t stay awake. I thought of that when I drew this picture: the feeling of a secret adventure.”

“Now that I am older not only can I stay awake — sometimes I can’t sleep,” Julie told us. “This is a painting called Insomnia. The painting is not an illustration for a book. Books are wonderfully collaborative, but I also like to do things that require no approval but my own. I find I can stretch and grow and bring fresh ideas back to the books.”

“Keeping with the sleep theme… this is from Albert the Fix-It Man by Janet Lord (my sister with the dream horse). Albert’s character is inspired by our father. He dreams of broken bicycles that he can fix. It is my habit to fill every inch of space with pattern, but in these illustrations I tried to leave some breathing room.”

{This book was published by Peachtree Press in March of ’08, and I also reviewed this title here in March. I have to add that my wee daughters and I read our library copy of this book so very, very often that we have our own little “Albert the fix-it-man” ditty, which I just KNOW you all are so sad to not be able to hear. Heh.}

“This is a spread from Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman. The art is inspired by wycinanki, Polish paper cutting. This and all of my paintings are gouache on paper.”

{This book was published by Henry Holt in September of last year, and I also reviewed this title here in March. See what I mean? Everything’s been comin’ up Julie lately here at 7-Imp, but seeing her art work simply makes life better, I say.}

“These are some papercuts I did of Adam and Eve. They are about five feet tall. Lately I’ve been experimenting with combining painting and paper cut images.”

We can’t thank Julie enough for stopping by today and gracing our site with her illustrations. It’s going to be hard to post anything above this and scoot her post on down our main page. I kinda want to leave it up there forever. Thanks, Julie!

As a reminder, our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you (as well as featuring artists like Julie). You — yes, you reading now — are more than welcome to leave your kicks from the week, whether you’ve ever done so before or not.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). Most supreme kick of all this week? Julie’s visit and her beautiful art work.

2). “Cutting a Swath,” the collaborative crown sonnet (posted here in its entirety) by Liz Garton Scanlon, TadMack, Kelly Fineman, Sara Lewis Holmes, Tricia Stohr-Hunt, cloudscome, and Laura Purdie Salas. Hoo boy, what an exciting creative adventure they undertook, huh?

3). Finally reading The Fairy Tales (translated by David Walser) with Jan Pieńkowski’s elegant silhouette illustrations and hand-lettering. What a handsome book, and my oldest was literally shaking as we read Snow White and Hansel and Gretel. Ah, the drama of those traditional fairy tales. Good for the wee ones they are. Remember: Albert Einstein said, “If you want your child to be brilliant, read them fairy tales. If you want your child to be a genius, read them more fairy tales.”

4). Speaking of the oldest, she got into a two-day-a-week Parents’ Day Out program for this coming Fall. It’ll be exactly one year before she enters kindergarten. Don’t get me wrong: I’m certainly a mother who needs time to herself, but will it make sense when I say, I miss her already?

5). This library poster from the State Library of Iowa. Thanks to Your Neighborhood Librarian — who has some great posts about the need to unfug the ALA READ posters — for the link.

6). The “This I Dream” series of essays and art over at Authors + Illustrators for Children. You can already read Virginia Euwer Wolff’s essay on music education and George Ella Lyon’s essay on peace. The essays to come are listed here. Many thanks to Jama for the link!

7). Andrea and Mark of Just One More Book!! getting immortalized by Bob Staake. A well-deserved honor if there ever was one!

* * * * * * *

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* This week’s art. Natch. I think I love the sea serpent best – it reminds me of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, my favorite of the Chronicles of Narnia.

2* I also loved the crown of sonnets created by our seven uber-talented blogger/poet/friends. I’m in awe.

3* As you know, I got to hang out with Adrienne (WATAT) last weekend.

4* And I got to hear some excellent authors speak, and see some very enthusiastic young book lovers.

Neko!5* Oddly, I got to hang out with her again this weekend, since the husband and I ended up taking a last-minute road trip to Rochester on Saturday. So we met Adrienne for coffee. Yay.

6* On the way, we saw signs that reminded us that a Record/CD fair was in town for the day, so we made a little stop. We snagged a couple of CDs I’d been meaning to get for ages, plus a total surprise: Neko Case: Live From Austin City Limits.

7* Guest-blogging over at Practically Paradise. Thanks, Diane, for being such a lovely hostess.

What are your kicks this week?

24 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #58: Featuring Julie Paschkis”

  1. Jules and Eisha,

    I’ve been so busy writing for my blog during National Poetry Month that I haven’t been commenting as much at other blogs.


    1. Julie’s artwork. Julie is definitely one of my favorite picture book artists. Her style is unique. I love all the books I own that she illustrated. TWIST and YELLOW ELEPHANT are two particluar favorites.

    2. J. Patrick Lewis sent me a poem, “Mr. Mack Celebrates the 100th Day of School,” to post at Wild Rose Reader last week. The poem will be included in his book COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER: A POEM FOR EVERY DAY OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, which will be published next year. (I hope everyone had an opportunity to read my interview with him. He is such a clever and witty gentleman.)

    3. I had a fantastic interview with Janet Wong about her experiences as a student in the master class in poetry that the late Myra Cohn Livingston taught at UCLA. I posted the interview at Wild Rose Reader for Poetry Friday.

    4. Janet sent me a package of signed poetry books to give away this week. I’ll be doing the drawing today to see who wins four books: GOOD LUCK GOLD, BEHIND THE WHEEL: POEMS ABOUT DRIVING, KNOCK ON WOOD: POEMS ABOUT SUPERSTITIONS, AND TWIST: YOGA POEMS.

    5. Two more children’s poets have consented to be interviewed for Wild Rose Reader during National Poetry Month.

    6. The Crown of Sonnets written by a group of very talented kidlit bloggers.

    7. My husband made me his ultra-fantastic homemade pizza last night–and I overindulged myself!

  2. Elaine, I’m so glad you mentioned these things, ’cause I’m also behind on blog-reading and haven’t visited Wild Rose Reader since the J. Patrick Lewis interview. I’m looking forward to reading the Janet Wong interview — and to which interviews you’ll be revealing this month. What kickin’ surprises you are bringing us for National Poetry Month!

    I myself have a ton of other anthologies or picture book poetry collections I want to cover here this month, but there’s just never enough time. I hope to get more poetry covered before May 1st.

    I hope you’re feeling better, too, Elaine.

    It will be hard for Eisha and I to post over this Paschkis-feature. Such beautiful images! She’s lined up for an illustrator-interview, and I can’t wait to read more about her process and such.

    Thanks, Elaine! (oh, and I also overindulged on pizza last night, but it wasn’t homemade. Mmmmm.)

  3. p.s. Eisha, that CD looks so good!! If it has live tunes from Fox Confessor, I must purchase it. Is it recent, or is it an older one? (’cause I once got one from the library that was a live CD that I about wore about, but I’m hoping this is a newer one. Okay, I checked the link and it’s an ’03 performance. I wonder if it’s the same one?? It definitely has a different cover).

    I’m rambling. Sorry. Neko Case is just so great.

  4. Elaine, I’ve been loving your interviews. I learn so much, and they’re highly entertaining to boot!

    Love that first Playing With Words image. So how can we all get to King County Library to get a poster? Beg? Plead? Grovel? Love the Insomnia one, too. I don’t want insomnia, but if it’s as lovely as that…well, who needs sleep?

    You know my kicks are going to include 1) the Crown of Sonnets. Just being part of that was amazing, whether we posted it or not, but it was fun to share with others, too.

    2) Also kicky: I stumbled across a paragraph about Letters From Rapunzel—in of all the most unlikely, exalted places—the NY Review of Books. I’m rather amazed. I’ll grab the link and post about it this week.

    What else? 3) A regatta in the rain, where I got to watch my son work together with a new group of rowers, some novices, for the first time. 4) My husband loved the book of poetry I bought him (and wrote all over!) 5) Laughing at the Where’s Waldo spoof I found via Interactive Reader—have you seen it? 6) My niece and her family going to London via Make a Wish. I’m going to ask for permission to blog about her visit to the Harry Potter movie set. I love you, Make a Wish. 7) The images here today.

    Oh, and Eisha’s husband’s deadpan wordplay she related over at Practically Paradise. I swear, if I meet him, I’m going to address him as AGATB. 🙂

  5. O heavens that Waldo bit is funny, Sara. Thanks for that. I can link to it here if others want to see it (and here is the interactive reader post about it). It’s very, very funny, but wouldn’t it be even better if they had found that “in a world” guy to do the voice-over, the guy with the deep voice who does all the movie trailers? Thanks for pointing this out, Sara.

    Can’t wait to see your post about the NY Review of Books. And YAY, Make A Wish!

    I’m really going to go away now and let others post. Yeesh.

  6. Sunday already?

    Sara, that is beautiful that your niece is going to London via Make a Wish! I was just thinking about her the other day and wondering how she was doing.

    Daniel-san and Eisha, loved your interviews over at Practically Paradise! Remind me not to name any of our wild animal friends “Piper!”

    My kicks:

    1. Seven kicks right here: Sara, Laura, Tricia, Liz, Tadmack, cloudscome, and Kelly Fineman. The Crown of Sonnets was amazing, and I keep going back to read them over and over again.

    2. Janet Wong interview at Wild Rose Reader. The discussion in the comments is fascinating, too!

    3. Bob Dylan winning an Honorary Pulitzer! YES!

    4. Attending our friends’ 30th anniversary party last night. I met this strange woman from Connecticut, who asked what my name was. I said, “Jama,” and she said, “Didn’t you write a book?” She was sober, even.

    5. Dinner at my favorite Japanese restaurant with DH’s aunt and cousin.

    6. Receiving L is for Lolligag in the mail (thanks for the review, Jules)! I’m all mulligatawny hassenpffered now.

    7. Sir Paul came for tea 🙂

    Have a great week, everyone. (I’m still dodging cashews.)

  7. I love Julie’s work. So vibrant! Jules, that fairy tale book rocks and the Eistein quote. It is going up in the library.
    Eisha, I am going to have to check out Neko Case.
    I am woefully behind in 30 days=30poems, Left over resistance to write because of NBPTS? But I have a bunch in my head.
    My kicks:
    1. Joyce Sidman’s comment about the students “This is Just to Say” poems on my blog. So unexpected!
    2. A Romanian ELL student who wasn’t sure about poetry and now she is handing me a poem a day, love it.
    3. A brief hike in the wilderness park nearby yesterday with family.
    4. The glorious weather and the single yellow tulip in the vegetable garden.
    5. Eight poems on my Deo Writer site.
    6. The students response to the the apology poems.
    7. The 5th grade boy who read Chris Restatt’s ARC in 1 day,
    Have a great week.

  8. P.S. Forgot to say how much I love Julie’s work, especially Albert in his bed and the words poster!! So glad you’re interviewing her. Want to see more more more!

  9. Such beautiful illustrations. Thanks for sharing them with us, Jules and Eisha.

    Sara, get out. ALISON LURIE writing about your novel in the NY Review of books! Very cool. Elaine, your April poetry posts have rocked. Jama, see, people in CT know their books! (That’s where I live, too.) Jone, how awesome that Joyce Sidman dropped by your blog.

    Our big kick is that we are in the sunny South, visiting with my folks. Jr. is testing the groovy 70’s intercom system, as we speak, and has somehow roped Grandma into the project.

  10. I am so glad people are enjoying the interviews with poets and other posts at Wild Rose Reader this month. FYI: I’ll post my interview with Joyce Sidman this coming Friday.

    Maybe some of you would like to write a ring/drum/blanket poem for me to post at Wild Rose Reader. Two bloggers have already said they were going to attempt writing one. Check out my interview with Janet Wong to read five examples of a ring/drum/blanket poem.


    There just may be a drawing for a poetry book prize for those who write a poem!

  11. Ooo boy, I love that sea serpent. And we have got to figure out how to get artists like this to make posters for my library system because AWESOME.

    Jules, I loved The Fairy Tales, the illustrations particularly. I can’t remember which story has an illustration with an owl, but I loved the picture so much, I almost razored it out of the book, but then I remembered that it was a library copy and that would be wrong. Speaking of the library, though, I thought a bit about getting it because it very oddly doesn’t have a table of contents to let readers know what stories are in it. How did that happen? It’s a mystery.

    Eisha, You guys have got me listening to Neko Case now, by the way. It was your Poetry Friday about seeing her in concert that motivated me to pick up a CD, which motivated me to pick up another, and you see how it snowballs.

    Sara, Oh, I hope you can blog about your niece’s trip. I’m so glad to hear she got to do something so cool. Make a Wish does good work.

    My kicks:
    1. I got to see Eisha! AGAIN!
    2. My daffodils are going to bloom any old minute.
    3. I got to see three movies in the theater this weekend. (The only one I’d recommend is Leatherheads, which had some most excellent dialog.)
    4. I went to spinning class yesterday for the first time in three weeks, and I didn’t die. I’m not even sore.
    5. We had a bunch of programs at the library with the pig from If You Give a Pig a Pancake this week, and they all went really well.
    6. Ditto with a technology training thing I helped plan.
    7. I’ve had a lot of reading/puttering/catching up time this weekend, which I really, really, really needed.

  12. Elaine, congrats on all those excellent interviews. Isn’t it fun, and inspiring, to get to interact with such talented people?

    Jules, somehow this CD has “Maybe Sparrow” on it. I’m thinking you should ask for it for your upcoming birthday.

    Sara, thanks to you and Jules that Waldo video is one of my kicks too. And congrats on the amazing sonnet and NY review.

    Woo, Jama, being recognized by strangers! You’re famous! And I was happy about Bob Dylan, too.

    Jone, you seem to work some powerful magic with your students. Never stop.

    Susan, oh yeah! I had one of those intercoms too – my high school friends COULD NOT LEAVE IT ALONE, and had to squawk Star Trek-style commands to each other over it.

    Hey, Adrienne. Long time no see, stranger. 😉

  13. Jama, congrats on your man, Bob, getting the honorary Pulitzer — and for getting Lollygag. What a fun book, huh?

    I still have your Laura Vaccaro Seeger interview on my to-read list. I need to read it when there’s quiet, and with two young kids, that’s not often around here. Can’t wait.

    Jone, congrats on that Romanian student’s poems. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. In seven different directions. And Joyce Sidman stopping by your blog is great, too. Looks like Elaine will treat us to a Sidman interview on Friday. WOOT. Elaine’s all over National Poetry Month, not surprisingly — and lucky for us all.

    Susan, have fun in the South and travel safely.

    Adrienne, yes, I noticed that the fairy tale book had no table of contents. I did a lot of flipping, even though there were only four tales, since my girls wanted to hear them more than once — and out of order. …….And I’m glad Eisha or both of us or whoever (it doesn’t matter) turned you on to Neko. I love Fox Confessor Brings the Flood so much and listened to it so often when it came out that my daughter — at, like, age two and a half — was singing the lyrics all the time. I like to turn up “Lion’s Jaws” reeeeeeeeally loud when Ms. Case belts it out not unlike Patsy Cline in the middle portion of the song. She could move the earth with that voice.

    happy kicks to all…

  14. Love those illustrations!

    My kicks:

    1. That I finally have time on a Sunday to participate here.

    2. Bonding with my 15 year old over the first season of LOST.

    3. The crazy quilt I’m piecing together is so bright and happy!

    4. My friend’s son who had a brain tumor removed three years ago passed his MRI check-up with flying colors – no cancer! Woot!

    5. Freecycle. People will take the darndest things.

    6. Counting down to our move back to California, which means I can participate in SCBWI more easily than I can in this island state.

    7. Making arrangements to go to Tampa for a writer’s conference.

  15. Hi, Kris! So glad you stopped by. What is freecycle anyway? Do tell. And, speaking of “Lost,” Kris, did you see this at Robin Brande’s blog last week?

  16. Good stuff, Kris! Congrats to your friend’s son – that’s excellent news.

  17. Oh yeah, and what Eisha said! That’s the BEST kick of all, Kris.

  18. Eisha,

    It most definitely is both fun and inspiring to interview talented children’s poets, authors, and illustrators. Of course, I’m a tad partial to the poets. I love to get insight into their writing process, their thinking, their background, their philosophy. It gets me to thinking about my own writing.

  19. Jules, freecycle (dot) org. I thought everyone knew about freecycle! Offer your unwanted items for free, ask for something you need, or take the offered items. Environmentally sound, easy on the pocketbook. Thanks for pointing me to that LOST clip – my son will think it’s a riot.

  20. Thanks, Kris. I’ve never heard of it. I thought you were talking about exercise, for serious.

    Sounds like a great thing!

  21. Jules: Yay for fairy tales and for Albert Einstein. Good vibes to you for the early missing of the little miss.

    eisha and Adrienne: Hurrah for the meet-up!

    My kicks from last week:
    Collecting more books + prepping for Operation Teen Book Drop (happening on Thursday, April 17th!)
    Good news from a friend (very excited for her)
    Receiving some things (thanks to a gift certificate)
    Mutual appreciation societies
    Decent performances

  22. Little Willow, I appreciate a good walk — the saunter, or art of Walking, that Thoreau wrote about. My maiden name was Walker, and I think it fit. Seriously, I love a good Thoreau-walk. (But now, saying Danielson like Daniel-san, like the karate kid I am, is fun, too).

    Oh and best of luck with Operation Teen Book Drop!

  23. […] this post—a review of Imaginary Menagerie with some illustrations from the book—and this Sunday feature in which Julie stopped by to show us some never-seen-before-at-her-site paintings and papercuts, […]

  24. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page again.

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